The Parable of the Dragnet and the Householder’s Treasure

This week we’ll study the last two parables from Matthew 13, Jesus’ exposé on the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s first look at Matthew 13:47-50, a parable which depicts the casting of a giant net which draws in “every kind of fish.” These fish are then separated, the good from the bad. We can understand the net to represent the church or the spreading of the Gospel message. Notice then that the net does not discriminate – it draws everything in! That’s just how we’re supposed to act as a church and as a messengers of the Gospel! However, Jesus emphasizes that there will one day be a separation process – the bad fish will be divided from the good. Now, the bad fish, we learned, were not just old, rotten fish. They were actually the unclean fish – fish that were from their very nature polluted and impure. The bad news is that no matter how hard the fish tried there was nothing they could do to change their nature – and neither can we. BUT, the good news is Jesus Christ promises to make us brand new beings with a brand new identity in Him if we will just accept his magnificent sacrifice for us! (See Galatians 2:20 and Colossians 3:3.)

Next, let’s explore Matthew 13:52 – “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” This parable is in response to the disciples’ acknowledgement of Jesus’ teachings. Jesus lays out their responsibility in relation to the truth that they have received from Him. The treasure that they had received included both the ancient truths from the sacred Hebrew writings as well as the new truths that Jesus unfolded before them. Likewise, we have both the Old and the New Testament. But we can also think about these new and old treasures in a broader sense. As a life-application question, for example, I want to ask you, have you ever experienced the intersection between “both old and new” in your life? Whether that’s relationships, experiences, lessons, truth, etc? Was that intersection always comfortable? Or did it require struggle at times?

Perhaps the last point that we can draw from this illustration is how the householder “brings out” the treasure from his storehouse. You see, we can’t just keep our treasure to ourselves – we have to share it with others! We have a mission to share the wonderful truths of God’s character of love! And we also have our past experiences and lessons to share! Even when we may consider our past worthless, those experiences may be the very vehicle that God can use to reach and encourage someone else. Let’s think this week about casting our nets far and deep and about sharing our treasures “both old and new” with those around us! May God bless!

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